Third Sunday of Advent (December 11, 2016)
- First reading
- Second reading
James 5:7-10 | New Living Translation (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
The Epistle reading is different this week. Yes, it still has an Advent focus – much more on the Second Advent than Christ’s first. This week’s reading is a simple reminder – a simple encouragement to wait – to wait patiently for the Lord’s return, just like the farmer’s who wait for the rain in the spring. When we arrived here in Eldred this summer, we were in desperate need of rain. The grass was crunchy. One of the things everyone said is that we needed to pray for rain. The interesting thing is that the day after we moved, we had some morning thunderstorms and it wasn’t long before it did start raining on a regular basis.
James has a message for us this morning. We are once again reminded that Jesus is coming. James tells us that the Lord’s coming is near – take courage – wait patiently – eagerly await for the harvest to ripen! In our instant rice – microwave world – what a great reminder. There are many who can’t wait to get to Christmas. Then immediately they take down all the decorations. I say wait patiently – savor the moment. Perhaps that’s a good thought this morning – savor the moment. I remember an old Phil Keaggy song called Cherish the Moment. One of the lines in the song says that we may not pass this way again. So, as we wait for the coming of the Savior – as we prepare – let us not forget to savor the moment. Take time out of your schedule and enjoy the moment.